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Archive: August 2011


Providers

AmeriCare gets ahead of curve

August 31, 2011Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

PONTIAC, Mich. -- AmeriCare Medical in August launched a pilot program that will allow the provider to pick up where the hospital leaves off. The "Total Care Experience," formed in partnership with St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, a hospital in the Trinity Health System, seeks to reduce hospital readmissions and cut Medicare costs. "It made sense to get a program going now," said Stacey Murphy, vice president of corporate development for AmeriCare. Beginning Oct. 1, 2012, Medicare payments will be reduced...

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On the Editor's Desk

'I would drop (Medicare) in a heartbeat'

August 31, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

When CMS on Aug. 19 announced the affected zip codes and product categories for Round 2 of competitive bidding, HME providers had a lot to digest. Here's what some of them said, straight from the horse's mouth. Sandra Hoskin, president, American Medical Equipment, Houston “My reaction to that is I want a Zoloft. This program is the biggest farce in this profession and I've been at it for the past 30 years. I know I have to move forward on this, and I plan on bidding, but to date, I've attended...

competitive bidding, On The Editor's Desk


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Providers power up during hurricane

August 29, 2011HME News Staff

HME providers spanning the East Coast have been taking extra steps to make sure patients who lost power during Hurricane Irene have the medical attention they need. AAHomecare sent out a press release this week, highlighting the actions of a handful of these providers: Homecare Concepts This provider in Farmingdale, N.Y., lost power but its employees have been coordinating care and service via cell phone to more than 100 patients also without power in the New York City area. “Those who were...

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On the Editor's Desk

5 days, 5 bidding stories

August 26, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

I'm about to give you a good reason to make HME News your home page. Or at least check it every day. Even though we're a monthly publication, we have our HME Newswire each week and, in case you didn't notice, at least one new story on our website each day. This week, we posted a story related to CMS's Aug. 19 announcement on Round 2 of competitive bidding each day. Yup, that's five days and five bidding stories: Monday: CMS releases Round 2 bidding information Tuesday: Policy experts on bidding program:...

blogging, competitive bidding, On The Editor's Desk


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Specialty Providers

National program could leave small diabetes providers out in the cold

August 25, 2011Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

BALTIMORE - When it comes to bidding in the national mail order program for diabetes supplies, the deck could be stacked against smaller providers. For starters, the scope of the program appears to be bigger than expected. In its Aug. 19 announcement, CMS stated that the mail order program includes the entire United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa, which could send shipping costs skyrocketing. "I don't know what CMS is thinking about...

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AMEPA goes west

August 25, 2011Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

Members of AMEPA on July 28 wrapped up a two-week lobbying trip that took them from San Diego to Seattle--all of which are metropolitan statistical areas on the West Coast that are included in Round 2 of competitive bidding. "We've been hammering home the fact that the program allowed inexperienced, financially bankrupt companies to win bids in Round 1 and Medicare has done nothing to change that in Round 2," said Rob Brant, AMEPA's past president. "Some of these legislators are hearing this for...

competitive bidding, Durable Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment


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A boiled down version of 5010

August 25, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Software vendors may be working overtime to make the transition to HIPAA version 5010 "transparent" for HME providers, but there are still a few things providers will want to know about the change, says industry consultant Andrea Stark. Do you know your zip code plus four? One of the "curve balls" that 5010 may throw providers: Instead of entering a patient's five-digit zip code, they'll have to enter a zip code plus four, says Stark, a reimbursement consultant with MiraVista. "I don't know my...

Durable Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment


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Time for re-accreditation? It can be intense

August 25, 2011Elizabeth Deprey

WASHINGTON - The mad rush for HME providers to get accredited after Medicare began requiring it in 2009 is starting up again, says Bob Weir, an accreditation consultant and surveyor. Weir has been conducting surveys all over the country and took a break to give providers some survey advice. HME: What would you say to providers preparing to go through re-accreditation? Weir: I think it's important for providers out there to realize that if they're asleep at the wheel, you can't put accreditation...

Durable Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment


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Legal roundup

August 25, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

These two questions recently landed in the email inbox of Jeff Baird: What's the difference between 1099 and W2 employees, and can I employ a medical director? Here's what Baird, chairman of the Health Care Group at Amarillo, Texas-based Brown & Fortunato, had to say. It's all about control The crux of the difference between 1099 independent contractors and W2 full-time and part-time employees, Baird says, is whether the HME provider has supervision and control over the employee. "If a rep will...

Durable Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment


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Consultant's corner: Think managed care is the solution?

August 25, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Industry consultant Alison Cherney says "everyone wants to get into managed care" these days. "They're saying, 'I'm in a competitive bidding area and I lost Medicare, what do I do now?'" said Cherney, president of Cherney & Associates in Brentwood, Tenn. "They think managed care looks attractive, but they can't, after all these years of hating it, just turn around and get a contract. It's not easy and it takes awhile." Cherney says managed care means, among many other things, building a sales organization...

Durable Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment


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